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TheRascalKing's Anthology Jimmiroquai TK Build Thread - Part of the SCG Group Build!


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Hey guys, been a while, I do apologize! Work and life have been crazy and I've been stuck in that last 10% or so of my build for a little while. I'm constantly trying to figure out not just how to make things work, but how to get them to work WELL! So let's break down my list of excuses as to what's been holding me back. It's pretty much 4 categories: the helmet, the belt, the shoulder bridges, and final strapping/adjustment.

 

The Helmet: Not much to say here. It's still sitting in primer (well, sanded back clear), waiting for it's final coat of white and clear, then the grey/black details. I'm waiting to finish the belt so I can respray both at the same time, since cracking open a can of 2K clear is a commitment. I have the satin grey, flat black, and a black fine detail paint pen ready to go, it just makes me nervous with the masking to ensure I get the details sharp.

 

The Belt: Had a pretty bad issue with the belt that has been extremely irritating and time consuming to fix and has led me to question my paint method as a whole. I didn't document much of this (sorry) admittedly because of how frustrated it made me. I was using a piece of 2" blue masking tape horizontally across the middle of the belt to help me mark the holes for my belt box attachments, and when I went to remove it, I ripped about 2"x10" of the clear coat off the center of the belt. It must not have fully bonded to the 2X paint underneath and peeled off like a film. It was thick enough that it left a jagged, noticeable edge where it was removed, and obviously a difference in sheen. I was pissed. The belt is a pretty noticeable part of the suit, so I knew it needed to be fixed correctly, which meant more sanding and a respray. I tried to spray a couple coats of white to bring the level in the exposed area back UP, while also spending several sessions sanding the clear on the rest of the belt DOWN to try to level it out. I thought I had it good to go and sprayed the whole thing again... only to have the clear continue to peel up. At this point, I used a piece of tape and intentionally ripped off any remaining clear that was loose, then sanded almost all the way down to the fiberglass, before spraying with white again, which is where the belt is at now. Ready for clear. Again. Unsure if this was an isolated incident with the 2K or what, but between this and the cost, I think I would just use Rustoleum's gloss clear if I did this again. Not sure the 2K is worth it.

 

Which brings me to my next difficulty - attaching the belt. I had the realization the other day that this suit would potentially be very difficult to put on by myself, should I need to without a competent wrangler, which got me rethinking some of my assembly methods. Hence where the magnets come in!

I started with the idea of making the trauma plate easier to install on my own and added 4 big neodymium magnets to it in the center and top corners.

 

WKbah5W.jpg

 

I may dial the gap in more in the future but I wanted to keep the flare at the bottom to account for the back belt. I cut some craft foam and covered the bottom side of the panel, hopefully keeping the scratching/rubbing to a minimum (which I'll address in a couple other places as well, and will be watching for as I wear the suit... some day haha).

 

sdajAbs.jpgUaF8MsX.jpg

 

And installed! It goes on easily by itself and aligns nicely.

 

NCqTmnB.jpg

 

Next I wanted to find a convenient and secure way to mount the belt to the barrel, and figured I would give the same big neodymium magnets a shot. I sprayed some with flat white so they blend in a little better and epoxied them to the back side of the belt, and corresponding ones to the inside of the barrel.

 

AGeRK8h.jpg

 

I also put magnets on the ends of the belt, where they overlap, and I'll add a little of my ultra-thin velcro to the very edge to hold it all together.

 

FXitLEm.jpg

 

I did need to end up trimming about 2" off both sides of the rear belt assembly, as it was too long and the overlap was hitting somewhere up by the belt boxes. I'll need to repaint the ends, and I wish I had noticed and fixed this before final paint... But it's okay because I had ANOTHER paint issue on the belt! When I was testing out the magnets, I left one on the front overnight by accident and it bonded to the paint or something, because when I removed it, I got this:

 

C5zfYKq.jpg

 

So that was fun to repair. Again.

 

wBZR6FR.jpg

UPiQ5Qq.jpg

 

I have all the holes drilled, screws ready, and the elastic prepped for the drop boxes - just waiting to assemble until after final paint on the front belt.

 

And finally, the last belt component is the thermal detonator. Started masking it so it will be ready for gray when I do the helmet details, then I will mount it to the rear belt. Planning to use screws for everything, along with a little E6000 to hedge my bets. Hopefully if I ever need to remove anything, it won't take the clear with it again...

 

The Shoulder Bridges: Next on my list of sorrows were the should bridges and their attachment. I had originally ordered and intended to use rubber/latex shoulder straps from Jeff/11b30b4, but was having a heck of a time deciding how to mount them and was way overthinking everything. Between this, the fact that they had yellowed pretty significantly, and that I eventually ended up snapping one while trying to bend it to the proper curved shape (they are cast flat), I ended up giving up on them and went back to the hard ones from Jim. The ridges are larger and look more accurate, but I was (and still am) concerned about them cracking. I think I've decided that I'm going to glue them in the front with epoxy, then use neodymium magnets embedded in the bridges to keep them in the pockets at the rear, essentially "hard-mounting" everything, more like many clones do. I also ordered a set of Mr. Paul's (of TotalGrunt/Shoretrooper build fame) metal shoulder bell/bridge supports. These are apparently the most accurate way to ensure your shoulder bells are supported and sit correctly, and include the elastic/snaps to attach the bells, so I'll post up how that process goes when they arrive from the UK. 

 

68612825_921790391501479_354175798794728

 

Final Strapping/Adjustment: Obviously this is the very last step, but I'm curious what new and exciting problems I'll run into as I figure the last of this out. I haven't actually put on the full suit in MONTHS so I'm curious how it'll go.

 

I don't think I've post since I started applying the ultra-thin Velcro, but I'm pretty stoked on it. The only concerns I have had are that it's actually a little stronger than I anticipated, so I don't need to use as much as I did on most of the pieces (I may trim it back later) - I don't want to put TOO much strain on the pieces when I WANT to take them back apart. I also ran into the issue of the adhesive pulling the clear coat off again, so I started scuffing up the spots where I applied Velcro to help mitigate this. Otherwise, it works and looks great and allows for a much more flush look. Magnets probably would work well for areas like the shins and forearms as well, but I'm over it and just want to finish at this point.

 

HKekXCC.jpg

 

I also need to create the belt drops to hang my thighs with... it's on my list. I'd like to improve over my current OT-style design and incorporate the correct-style clips, but need to do some more research. If anyone has any good solutions, I'd love to hear/see them!

 

From the top down, a checklist (mostly for me, but might as well post it here):
Helmet - final white and clear, helmet detail paint, install visor and vocoder, install interior padding, install fans/mic

Chest/back - epoxy in shoulder bridges and shoulder bell supports, finalize chest-to-side panel connections, install craft foam lining

Ab/belt - epoxy in magnets for belt attachment, final white/clear on belt, install belt boxes, paint thermal detonator, install thermal detonator

Arms - install shoulder bell snaps

Legs - glue sniper knee, create garter system for thighs, install garter system

 

I'll keep grinding away and maybe add some pictures later this weekend, but there's a pretty big update down for ya!

Edited by TheRascalKing
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I'm glad you're back at it, but wish you didn't have so much trouble...

Getting my helmet details crisp was a big pain too! I had some trouble getting the fine point paint marker into some of the crevices around the rear traps. I ended up taping a little on either side of the line just to keep the black paint in line.

So far, I haven't really had issues getting my suit on/off, which parts are you referring to? I used velcro in a few spots to hold each belt half up and they seem to work fine.

Now that you mention it, I think some shoulder bridges might be good to raise the bells a little. I might try some fiberglass scraps shaped like Paul's bracket.

Glen (gmrhodes13) posted some pics on my thread that point out the straps holding up the thighs from Star Wars Celebration. It looks like one strap hangs straight down and another is angled more forward. I'm hoping that holds them somewhat steady.

Can't wait for some pics!

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  • 4 weeks later...

More updates! More frustrations...

 

Helmet

 

Still in the same spot... maybe paint this weekend... I hate paint...

 

Chest/Back

 

Made some progress here! My shoulder tabs arrived from Mr. Paul's, but I did end up having to do a bit of problem solving, as my setup is different than the way a Shoretrooper is assembled (and I guess not quite fully accurate to the studio suits). With Paul's kit, he recommended bonding the aluminum supports to the front of the chest to support the shoulder bridges, but... well, that's not going to work with how Jim's kit is designed...

 

ZG60Ggh.jpg

 

As you can see, the step in the bracket and the curve is the opposite of what would work to attach it to the chest armor... So heck, I just attached them to the back armor instead!

 

xbYgHcj.jpg

mtMmSuE.jpg

 

They needed a little extra bending persuasion to work, but not much...

 

Kn4UFkB.jpg

 

Paul also supplies some 2" or so elastic with an extremely firm stretch that works with the bracket.... here's what they looked like after a lick of paint and a little scuff to promote adhesion, but before install.

 

0pwXBOm.jpg

 

And here they are assembled and ready to install. You'll note that little N52 neodymium magnet that's going underneath... there was some space anyways and it serves a purpose...

 

yrcpM6Z.jpg

 

The purpose? There are corresponding neodymium magnets countersunk and epoxied into the rear of the shoulder bridges to hold them down! Hard to see, but the slightly dirty circle towards the top. These are getting repainted... more on that later.

 

yL0HMBU.jpg


Here are some pics of the process to get the shoulders attached....

 

I glued a corresponding snap into the shoulder bell, then put some silver Sharpie on it to use to transfer a mark for the position with the bell in place.

 

W3oqL0D.jpg

 

uTLkOJa.jpg

 

Corrected for the center, measured, and replicated it on the other side...

 

IjIyO70.jpg

 

Punched holes and trimmed the excess...

 

dieP0zp.jpg

 

And installed snaps!

 

0JJMlKk.jpg

 

You can see how the elastic sits on top of the support and holds it all together...

 

SVDJqsH.jpg

 

Here it is all installed! 

 

84Nk0yy.jpg

 

Added the biceps using velcro and elastic...

 

wJ6qMT5.jpg

 

And here's the whole top half, more or less assembled! (minus the shoulder bridge-to-chest attachment, which I'm glad I didn't epoxy in just yet...). Even though it's backward, it still puts the support tab and attachment point in almost the exact place, so I'm happy.

 

sQZfH5N.jpg

 

At this point, I felt good trying on the top half of the armor for the first time pretty much ever! Used some clamps to hold the bridges in the front since I didn't glue them in yet...

 

4FqFQ3w.jpg6BlB3Gi.jpg

MOPGqLe.jpgVeRGe68.jpg

AfqQag6.jpgLtihWIt.jpg

 

I definitely figured out that my back armor is sitting too low, and that my barrel is too high... unfortunately, I cut my suspenders too short and they are maxed out, so I'll need to remake them. And to bring the chest up, the only thing I can think of is to shorten the shoulder bridges another couple bumps. I SHOULDDDD move the area where they insert on the back armor down lower for accuracy, but honestly that's more work than I want to get into at this point, so I'll trim a couple bumps off. I'm currently at 16 visible ridges, and this canon reference shot shows as few as 12, so I think I'm good.

 

cWtwKhD.png

 

They look like bigger ridges than Jim's (and much bigger than the urethane ones from Jeff), so they might be a little longer in actuality, but I think it should fix my problem without looking too bad. I'm going to trim them, grind a few ridges off the front (back has the magnets, so no go), then repaint, THEN hopefully finally epoxy them in to the front. The bridges will click in nicely at the rear and the chest armor has magnets added to the front lower sides that click in nicely with the underarm connectors as well. 

 

f2OVpxo.jpgUCyYtYl.jpg

 

Hopefully adding longer suspenders to bring the barrel DOWN, and shortening the bridges to bring the back UP will improve the look significantly, and make it so the barrel is not visible ABOVE the underarm connectors (despite the notch I cut into the barrel). I'll also be lining it with some craft foam to keep it from scratching the barrel where it overlaps. I promised you magnets... there are some magnets!

 

 

Ab/Belt

 

Still some work needed here - final paint after the myriad repairs, then I can attach the belt boxes. I did add strapping to the belt drop boxes, so those are ready to go...

 

UTMpsy3.jpg

6npASeB.jpg

 

I went with 2" black elastic. Fight me. :P 

 

 

Arms

 

Nothing exciting here... half of the bicep is glued with E6000 on each side and ultra-thin velcro on the other. Both sides of the forearms got velcro so far.

 

yMhlyF1.jpg?1

 

I did notice that my wrists were WAY too tight, and I struggled with getting the forearms together by myself. Not sure I could have done it with gloves on, or that my wrist would have fit with gloves on. I may try to heat and widen the wrist, or remove material. Unsure how to remedy this. The gaskets were also pretty bunched up and uncomfortable at the elbows, but that might just be a how it is (any FOs with rubber gaskets out there? haha). I may redo these with magnets and elastic to make them easier and more comfortable to put on and to allow a little more stretch. We'll see.

 

 

Legs

 

I did glue on the sniper knee and right thigh ammo belt... nothing fancy to talk about, just some E6000 and clamps/magnets to hold in place while drying overnight, again, don't think I've posted them.

 

DhGiOTy.jpg?1

 

I started on my garter system, based loosely on the FOTK reference for thigh strapping here.

 

nTkfzR6.jpg?1

 

I picked up a tacti-cool looking belt, and some strapping/buckles. I glued snap tabs into the thighs...

 

mGIWI84.jpg

 

Then started making corresponding straps with adjustable buckles, leaving a little extra to use as a pull tab to disconnect them when needed.

 

ykcHNMR.jpg

 

I'll post some more photos as I keep working on em, but can hopefully suit up my bottom half soon!

 

I think that's it for now. I felt bad about not including many pics in my last post, so I added plenty to this one, and went back and added some to the last.

 

Since this is my own personal thread (as previously mentioned, not so much a "How-To" and more of a chronicle of my descent into madness, a la "Hearts of Darkness"), I like include some personal updates, so if anyone was wondering... I did see my oncologist recently and it's looking like from my last blood work and scans, that the months of chemo and radiation were successful and that no further treatment is necessary for my cancer at this time! Nothing to do but wait for my next scan early next year with fingers crossed! So that's cool.

 

I got engaged recently (to DZ-71490 no less!), which was also awesome and one bright point in an otherwise trash year!


And finally, just kinda cool... took a decent photo of my current helmet collection after getting the new shelf on the right and moving my TV over on the wall (ignore the mounting holes that need to get filled haha).

 

tIypP0U.jpg

 

Left, counter-clock-wise to right: 


- Anovos ESB TK
- HFx Productions ANH blaster
- Hellhounds ESB blaster
- TM ANH-Hero TK
- screen-used Anovos ANH-Stunt TK
- Wasted Fett with minutefett paint ROTJ Boba 
- WIP Jimmiroquai fiberglass Anthology TK
- Colabo LidTech clone fiberglass aerohelmet from my downhill skateboard racing days

 

I think that's it for now! Until next time!

Edited by TheRascalKing
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Great progress man! Love seeing pics of your work! I'm glad you figured out Paul's shoulder brackets. I might need to switch out Jim's shoulder straps someday too...

 

Do you really think your barrel is too high? The chest plate isn't covering too much of the front details. Maybe you just need to trim down the top of the barrel so the side plates cover it..?

 

I'm about to strap my thighs on too! Are you using 2 (one in the front and one on the side)?

 

Glad to hear about your tests. Fingers crossed your tests keep coming back negative!!

 

Congrats on the engagement!

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Always great to see photos, so I also went back to your previous post to check out the additions. Great use of magnets, and I’m glad you were able to use Mr. Paul’s brackets in reverse. I’ve often wondered if something like those would be helpful for OT TKs. Very nice helmet and blaster collection there too. Someday I may need to sneak a helmet onto the built-in bookshelves we have around our TV. I’m sure my wife would comment in about half a second. Haha.

Excellent news, too, on your recovery. We’ll continue to have you in our thoughts and prayers on that front.


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12 hours ago, DarthBiscuit said:

Great progress man! Love seeing pics of your work! I'm glad you figured out Paul's shoulder brackets. I might need to switch out Jim's shoulder straps someday too...

 

Do you really think your barrel is too high? The chest plate isn't covering too much of the front details. Maybe you just need to trim down the top of the barrel so the side plates cover it..?

 

I'm about to strap my thighs on too! Are you using 2 (one in the front and one on the side)?

 

Glad to hear about your tests. Fingers crossed your tests keep coming back negative!!

 

Congrats on the engagement!

I appreciate it!

 

Yea, it's a little too high, but worse, the suspenders are maxed out, so I can't bring it down if I wanted to (and I do). Bringing the back up by shortening the bridges should help too. I trimmed a couple inches off the barrel top already, so I've got the new suspenders on order.

 

Yep, I'm going to add a side strap as well, but waiting on deciding how I'm going to attach them to my garter belt first, so I can get the angle right. Idk if I should sew em, use Velcro, snaps, or what. I did add the snaps to the thigh drops tho, so this should give you a feel for what it'll end up like. This is the left side.

 

uWxP2xW.jpg

Edited by TheRascalKing
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  • 1 month later...

Okay guys, another update. Been working away slowly, and figuring things out as I go. Pretty happy with all of my V1 solutions! I promised you magnets...

 

Another test fit!

91rgvfa.jpg

 

I identified a couple of critical problems, and have spent the last several weeks trying to remedy them. I definitely noticed a few things:

1. The forearms were way too tight at the wrist with the velcro shut, and it was veryvery difficult to get the velcro to line up (and be hidden) while suiting up on my own, with one hand and gloves on, so I gave up. So of course, I ridiculously overengineered them to solve this problem, and they work great now and are very easy to put on alone.

 

I started by cutting channels in the coverstrips on each half of the forearms.

 

buPqrEh.jpg

 

They're plenty thick to allow for these 60 x 10 x 3mm neodymium bar magnets to be epoxied into them.

 

p0iybrj.jpg


And of course, I'm neurotic so I took the time to sand and use some filler to flatten them out a bit, spray them flat white, then put a piece of fuzzy ultra-thin velcro over them to make for a smooth and easy connection (and you barely notice they're there).

 

JFsFozv.jpg

00zN4Yi.jpg

 

I used some adhesive strips to attach corresponding magnets to the under/back side of each piece (keeping all the polarities the same, so they can only go on ONE way).

 

BX7BSt0.jpg

 

XiZ6bLl.jpg

7NwpiVr.jpg

 

The gaps look good and the magners are just the right strength.

 

Finally, a piece of elastic velcro'ed on one side keeps the pieces from separating entirely, and allows them to hinge open enough for me to get them on, then snap shut nicely. Once they're on, they're comfortable now and they line up fine on their own without help. Took some inspiration from Boba gauntlets on this one. As you can see, the magnets hold them snugly and make the gaps very smooth. I'll have em on in the next test fit.

 

nhu4BJn.jpg

0cWcoeM.jpg

 

 

2. I needed a cod strap.

 

DA5kIEe.jpg

 

So I made one - velcro on one side for adjustability, and a snap on the cod.

 

Uw3JBbv.jpg

 

You can see most of the barrel strapping setup here, and where I installed the new suspenders, with slightly lower mounting points than the originals to allow for their length better. The key was finding where the "X" in the back wanted to sit flush on my back, then marking and gluing the mounting tabs in accordingly.

 

 

3. The thighs wouldn't stay shut in the back on their own. You can see how my right thigh was obviously bigger than the left in the original photo from opening up by accident. So, time to overengineer again!

 

y6OTM0P.jpg

 

The coverstrips on the rear of the thighs weren't thick like the forerarms or shins, but actually are slightly concave and allowed for the same bar magnets to be mounted under them, then I used a stronger (slightly thicker) 5mm bar magnet to hold the thighs shut in the back.

 

ZN7y83q.jpg

 

Gaps looking pretty good again and magnets are just the right strength again. They are pretty well motivated to stay in place, but are absolutely able to flex and slide open in the back to allow for greater mobility, and I added elastic similar to the forearms to help pull them back shut when not flexed.

 

5LSH5Km.jpg

 

Finally, I finished the mounting points for my garter belt strapping - one down the front (idc if canon or no), and the characterstic ones down the sides as well.

 

I6W0LqU.jpg

 

 The double strap helps them hang nicely and I'll adjust them as I go. The drops come down from a duty belt and snap in easily. I had a bit of excess strap that will need to get trimmed, but you get the idea. 

 

YgF8Xc2.jpgCcCE39X.jpganJrdWj.jpg

 

Some final adjustment needed, but it's easy to put on and plenty comfortable. The thighs may still be a bit too tall, and I may end up cutting them down more in the future, especially after seeing how deep the inside of the leg is cut on this one... probably more comfortable as well. I don't want to cut parts that are already painted, and it's tough to get stuff symmetrical... but if it bothers me when I wear it, I'll cut em down more. (PS, I don't consider this a spoiler because it's been more than a week since this episode, and his Black Series leaked months ago).

Mortar-Stormtrooper-550x275.jpg

 

 

4. The back/chest armor was rubbing/transferring onto the barrel where it overlaps. So I started lining the bottom lip of the pieces with sheets of adhesive craft foam to cut down on the rubbing!

 

sZ0WZ7A.jpg?1

 

 

5. I still need to finalize the shoulder bridge mounting... I ended up cutting a few extra ridges off after confirming the number visible from some reference photos. I also put a bit of a step into the area where I'll epoxy them in (after paint and clear again), so that they sit pretty nicely. 

 

cfXZEND.jpg

cAmkNwG.jpgN41yC2e.jpg

 

They should be better now and bring the back panel up a bit. They're due for paint with the helmet and belts soon... soon...

4k80Dtx.jpg

 

I also removed one of the aluminum shoulder supports that was slightly crooked, re-epoxied it in, added some extra epoxy around the mounts, then sprayed them white again. I also decided to change the color of the support tabs to black so that they're less noticeable.

 

v3OIQMl.jpg?1

 

Painting the shoulder bridges and gluing them in the front should be all that's left in this area.

 

 

6. I still need to finish gloss white and clear on a couple of items... but the big one is the helmet. I've been putting it off, honestly out of fear of messing it up again, but I've been researching and trying to perfect my painting technique. Or at least make it passable haha

 

Before I do my final coat of paint, I wanted to address two remaining issues... First is the bump in the (wearer's) right eye, a detail I'll blame @Parquette for confirming and having find its way into the CRL at L3. If I'm gonna do it, now's the time, so I started trying to add it in with a little Bondo. I don't love it (I dig the cleaned up symmetrical style) and don't want it to be super noticeable, but don't anyone say it's not there.

 

FY5PTFZ.jpg

 

I also noticed an extremely slight low spot that I wanted to fix (now or never), so we'll see how it looks after more wet sanding.

 

H9m4W6e.jpg

 

 

 

I think that's about it for now. Stuff I have left?

 

- The helmet... just a lot of stuff with the helmet.

- The shins - with the success of the forearms, I may set them up with magnetic closures as well, or probably half magnet, half velcro. I also need to reinstall the sniper knee that I removed and add a spacer to lean it forward - it was tipped too far back and was hitting the thigh too aggressively. Will also likely add some craft foam to the back of it (and the belts).

- The belts - need paint and to have the belt boxes, drop boxes, and thermal detonator mounted. I did purchase hardware for them tho - some cool screws that have washers built in. The plan is to use a little E6000 in addition to screwing directly into them, then cover the screws with some more craft foam. Whole thing mounts with magnets and a little velcro.

- The thermal detonator - I'll probably paint the gray at the same time as the helmet details, then mount it.

- The shoulder bridges - still need to be painted and glued on, but otherwise the chest/back is done, as are the arms and most of the legs. I'm getting there!

More updates soon. I'm legit trying to have this submitted by the end of the year. Then on to other projects next year ;) 

 

 

Edited by TheRascalKing
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What I would give to have the eye bump in my ATA OT kit ;-) Love your use of the magnets. You and Christine (Cricket) have the same mindset, and I’ve often wondered about employing them in my build, in areas other than the calves. Shoulder bells come to mind.

Really looking forward to seeing your finished suit, and then you painting it as both an incinerator and mortar Trooper. Haha.


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Lovely work Justin, I’m loving the detail in your build, it is excellent and will be great for all future builders to read through and learn from.


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17 hours ago, TheRascalKing said:

Okay guys, another update. Been working away slowly, and figuring things out as I go. Pretty happy with all of my V1 solutions! I promised you magnets...

 

Another test fit!

91rgvfa.jpg

 

I identified a couple of critical problems, and have spent the last several weeks trying to remedy them. I definitely noticed a few things:
 

 

Painting the shoulder bridges and gluing them in the front should be all that's left in this area.

 

6. I still need to finish gloss white and clear on a couple of items... but the big one is the helmet. I've been putting it off, honestly out of fear of messing it up again, but I've been researching and trying to perfect my painting technique. Or at least make it passable haha

 

Before I do my final coat of paint, I wanted to address two remaining issues... First is the bump in the (wearer's) right eye, a detail I'll blame @Parquette for confirming and having find its way into the CRL at L3. If I'm gonna do it, now's the time, so I started trying to add it in with a little Bondo. I don't love it (I dig the cleaned up symmetrical style) and don't want it to be super noticeable, but don't anyone say it's not there.

 

FY5PTFZ.jpg

 

I also noticed an extremely slight low spot that I wanted to fix (now or never), so we'll see how it looks after more wet sanding.

 

H9m4W6e.jpg

 

 

 

Hey, I'm an OCD nut ;) 

 

Also, looking at the thighs, I'd suggest trimming them at the top maybe 1-2 inches. Not only is this accurate, it also provides more flexibility in movement. It'll prevent it interacting with the abdomen and belt. 

 

apYefkZ.jpg

 

Looking wonderful! Keep it up! 

Edited by Parquette
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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Update time! Made some decent progress over the winter break (despite only taking the actual Christmas and New Years holidays off)!

 

FINALLY finished painting ALL of the pieces in white and clear!

 

obzg75u.jpg


The shoulder bridges had a weird paint reaction and had to be sanded down again... then reacted AGAIN in the same spot.

 

9rRuRGI.jpg

 

Unsure what was going on, but I couldn't leave it like this, so after sanding a third time, I just powered through and decided it was good enough.

 

To mask the helmet, I used one of my sheets of self-adhesive craft foam with a hole cut in the center, then slid the masked-off helmet onto an old cat scratching post on top of a turntable for paint. 

 

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The second attempt was pretty successful and other than a handful of small dust nibs, the paint and 2K clear went on well - got good coverage and great gloss without any runs or crazy orange peel. I may be able to buff some of the dust out, but it's only visible if you're up close and looking for it. A blast with compressed air probably would have been a good idea.

 

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Here's the squint I added, after final paint.

 

uAD4o5S.jpg

 

And the whole helmet, glossy...

 

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Just needs color detail paint and assembly!

 

Now that the shoulder bridges were done (good enough after an extra round of sanding), I went ahead and epoxied them onto the chest plate. Will this hold up? I don't know, but we'll find out! It's super easy to put on and seems to be hold together well, but I may explore adding some velcro just for a positive physical connection at the back of the bridges in addition to the embedded magnets. 

 

M40IByD.jpg

 

 

I didn't really document this process, honestly, because I was pretty frustrated when doing it and was having my fiancé help, so I didn't want to take too much time taking photos, but I did complete the belts after they got final clear. I scuffed up the (perfect lol) surface under each belt box, as well as the back of each box, added some E6000 and then screwed straight into pilot holes I drilled in them in using screws with built-in washers. I made the holes in the belt slightly oversize so I had some adjustment room in case my measurements were slightly off (oops, they were, but I mostly fixed it).

 

FyGYxXr.jpg

 

I also installed the drop boxes (which have also been backed with self-adhesive craft foam to help keep them from scratching) with 2" black elastic, and just sandwiched them under the large boxes after making holes in the elastic where the screws came through to help hold them. They don't sit perfectly flush, but good enough. Also added some ultra-thin Velcro where the back belt overlaps to hold it to the front belt, and it sits very nice and flush.

 

JjfuzaV.jpg?1 

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Speaking of craft foam, I added some to the back of the sniper knee as well, after adding a 3/4" or so block to help shim it out. I'm not sure I'm happy with it still, as it is still tipped too far back and hits the thigh - just not as aggressively as before. I'll probably trim the thighs down and see if it improves before messing with it again though.

 

aYpR9rT.jpg

 

 

Aaaaaaand another couple of shots suited up! Obviously not fully-adjusted submission photos, but should give me a good idea of what needs to be noodled with still...

 

xrCyPMO.jpgholibcJ.jpg

qYWpHe9.jpgQYzAPJF.jpg

pyXvT4e.jpgv0mxbqZ.jpg

 

The back panel keeps wanting to sag down, but I think once I add electronics behind the chest panel, that will help add some weight and keep the distribution a little more forward. 

 

What's left?!

 

- Helmet paint details

- Helmet assembly - padding, electronics, lens, frown mesh, tube stripe backing, mic tips (ordered another set from Tony since my last spare pair went on my Hero helmet after the interior paint debacle :P) - I have all the bits, just gotta actually install em after paint.

- Thermal detonator paint details (I'll do the grey at the same time as the helmet grey)

- Thermal detonator assembly - I'll use the same method as the belt boxes, then cover with foam as well

- I'll almost certainly need to cut the thighs down, which becomes more evident with each time I actually wear the suit. It may look okay enough for submission, but it's very clunky to move around in currently. I just need to gather as much reference for the shape as I can and maybe draw it out so I can reproduce it symmetrically with a template. We'll see. I don't want to. But I probably will. haha

- Final adjustment and photos!

 

Thanks again for stopping by! Hopefully my next post will be over in the Pre-Approval sub ;) 

Edited by TheRascalKing
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The helmet gloss looks excellent!
To the shoulderstraps: paint reaction can have different reasons, either the layer underneath reacting with your paint, temperature issues, too much paint on one spot, etc. etc. It's sometimes really hard to not get an orange skin, but it looks like you've found your way! :)

Did you polish the clearcoat at the end?


I agree your thighs might need some trimming for better movements.

Great thread and very good progress over the holidays!! :duim:

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Hey Justin I'm loving the interior covering to conceal the hardware :jc_doublethumbup:, looks clean.

 

How much weight if any does it add to the armor?

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6 hours ago, Ripper_L said:

The helmet gloss looks excellent!
To the shoulderstraps: paint reaction can have different reasons, either the layer underneath reacting with your paint, temperature issues, too much paint on one spot, etc. etc. It's sometimes really hard to not get an orange skin, but it looks like you've found your way! :)

Did you polish the clearcoat at the end?


I agree your thighs might need some trimming for better movements.

Great thread and very good progress over the holidays!! :duim:

 

Thank you! No polish (yet?), just the gloss white and 2K clear. I may try to cut and polish some of the dust, but... later. They're not bad enough to prevent approval forsure and I just wanna get this thing submitted.

Yea I'm curious what it could have been and why it ONLY happened there... but oh well. 

 

13 minutes ago, ukswrath said:

Hey Justin I'm loving the interior covering to conceal the hardware :jc_doublethumbup:, looks clean.

 

How much weight if any does it add to the armor?

Thanks! Just self-adhesive EVA craft foam sheets - they weigh like nothing, much less than all that metal hardware (which still isn't bad) and definitely help with the rubbing.

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On 12/14/2020 at 1:25 PM, Parquette said:

Hey, I'm an OCD nut ;) 

 

Also, looking at the thighs, I'd suggest trimming them at the top maybe 1-2 inches. Not only is this accurate, it also provides more flexibility in movement. It'll prevent it interacting with the abdomen and belt. 

 

apYefkZ.jpg

 

Looking wonderful! Keep it up! 

Not sure if you saw this, but you're lookin' awesome! Keep it up! 

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Just now, Parquette said:

Not sure if you saw this, but you're lookin' awesome! Keep it up! 

 

I did, thank you! I reeeeeeeeally don't want to cut anything after paint, but it's becoming very clear that the thighs will have to get chopped more. I'll be researching the shape to try to get a template going, and hopefully I can manage to trim and sand without ruining the paint...

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Haha, cool. If you look at different pics in R1, it's actually real funny because the cut of the thighs varies. Some are flat-cropped, while others are like the above photo. You can especially see this in the K2-SO hallway shootout before he throws the TK's around. 

 

I347rw3.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Finally making some progress on the helmet - I have been procrastinating out of fear of messing it up, and just haven't been feeling my best if I'm being honest (more on that at the end, but also GOOD NEWS!)... But I made some big strides this week, so let's go over the details!

 

I started masking and painting the final bits on the helmet and thermal detonator, using a Tamiya brand tape I'd seen recommended a couple of places - it worked great and gave me super clean lines, while still being able to mask curves pretty efficiently. I would usually lay down my line with this, then add a couple inches of masking with thicker tape behind it!

 

ds9aXYG.jpg

 

I did the Thermal Detonator first to give the tape a try and to get my technique down. I actually learned that it was best to be a teeny bit sloppy with my masking, then go back and remove any of the slight overspray from the rattlecan using a small awl to find the corner, then gently scrape any excess. On the TD you can see a few spots where paint didn't actually get all the way to the edge since I masked TOO close. I learned and did better on the helmet, but mayyy go back and touch up the TD before final mounting. Still, not bad! I also in hindsight should have sprayed the gray, then masked IT before spraying the white, which might have been more efficient than taping off the white...


GqptPPG.jpgi31NZNM.jpg
EtdSQqd.jpg

 

Next up was masking off the helmet to do the gray details on the tears, traps, ears, and frown. I taped all around each of them, then covered the helmet with a garbage bag, cutting holes for the areas I wanted color on, then taping around them. I did about 4 light coats, 5-10min apart of RustOleum Painter's Touch 2x Satin Granite gray.


mDxI4MG.jpg
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I haven't been the best about documenting, but you can see the masking underneath after I removed the plastic bag. I actually got very little overspray and didn't need to do much cleanup. It's worth it to take the time to mask properly!


RSVhI8t.jpg

 

And finally with all the masking removed! It was a LOT!


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I went in with my awl again and lightly scraped off any overspray - the 2K clear is hard and smooth enough that the awl would remove the gray paint, but not noticeably scratch the white. I then went around with a Q-tip and some polish to clean anything left up. This let me get even smoother, cleaner lines than I probably could have achieved with masking alone. Again, in hindsight... using a white tape on a white helmet probably wasn't best. The frown was hardest to mask, but cleaned up pretty well too!


M6JrReE.jpg
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Next I tried to go in and do the black outlines with a fine marker, which worked okay at first, but when I touched them several HOURS later, still smudged... I gave it overnight to dry, but it was still wet the next day. Upon closer inspection, the pens I was using were water based and probably not bonding to the paint and drying properly. I ended up just wiping as much of the black outlines off as possible, and ordered myself an Extra Fine Oil-Based Sharpie that should arrive this weekend, then I'll give it another go.


HdvgIPP.jpg

 

Next up was the neck seal trim. Didn't take photos, but same deal - masked with the Tamiya, some thicker masking tape, then a plastic garbage bag and a piece of adhesive foam sheet to block the head hole, similar to when I did the white paint. Again, cleaned up with the awl and polish for a respectably smooth line. I used RustOleum Painter's Touch 2X Flat Black for this to simulate rubber and am pleased.


ybn3pbN.jpg

 

I used the same flat black and masking technique - this time with some spare newspaper instead of the plastic bag - to do the brow trim.


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Once I removed the masking, I went ahead and installed the blacked-out mic tips from Ukswrath (after painting the interior stem, nut, and washer with some flat black) - they look great! Of course, I'm sort of a perfectionist and took the time to make sure they were straight, as was the mesh in them (it was a pain). I set the helmet in such a way that it would stay in place overnight, then used some Gorilla Glue to attach the vocoder as well. I ended up having to heat it with some HOT water and bend it slightly to get it to connect at the top, and at the bottom near the neck seal - it previously had about a 1/4" gap. I also used my Dremel to rough the surface up slightly where it contacts to give it a better physical bond (hopefully if it ever comes off, it doesn't take a bunch of my clear coat with it......).

 

aDdrRO6.jpg

 

That dried very securely, and brings us to where I'm currently at... all done with paint and just a few items left to assemble!

QwltEZA.jpg

 

I'll be finishing any final cleanup around the frown tonight, then using some strips of black 3M VHB tape to attach my frown mesh, and some velcro to install the lens (I like it easily removable for cleaning). I'll likely use the VHB to secure some fabric under the tube stripe vents as well. I also added some "airsoft helmet"-style padding from Amazon, but haven't dialed the fit in just yet (pics when I do) - it's a pretty room-y helmet.  

 

Which brings me to one of the last major hurdle left - trimming the thigh tops. I started trying to mock up my cut line with some tape... let me know what you guys think! Going way deeper on the inside of the leg for comfort after seeing the mortar trooper shot above...

 

wcw71qR.jpgdGiSIwD.jpgQxPWaAQ.jpg

 

I have an E-11 on order from Hellhounds Props - the very first Rogue One style he's produced apparently - and it should be ready in the next week or two. I'm super excited and have been extremely impressed by the quality of Daniel's work - notably the separate metal scope rails and quality of the rubber casting. I also ordered a repro mini scout light for it, which should be neat!


I think that's it for now! Final helmet assembly, thermal detonator mounting, and thigh trimming hopefully this weekend and in my next post! Finally feeling the motivation to get this thing DONE and submitted!

 

Anyone still interested in hearing health news, I have good news - my PET scan ($1,800 out of pocket since it's a new year and new deductible... OOF) results came back and...

I AM OFFICIALLY, FULLY IN REMISSION FROM CANCER! 

So that's cool haha The scan showed no signs of cancer activity, so all I need to do is get scanned again in another 6 months, then a year after that... then a year after that... and then they technically can call me "cured"! So that's amazing news and I'm truly blessed and grateful. It's been a helluva journey.

On the slightly negative side, I ended up carrying a lot of anxiety into the new year between waiting on that result, the insanity surrounding the US inauguration, COVID-19 still being fully out of control in Southern California, and changing job roles (not by choice) at work... I kept telling myself that things would get better in the new year, and though it rolled around and they mostly did, I still have been struggling with a good deal of anxiety and have not been sleeping very well. I'm getting things back under control, but wasn't feeling my best the last several weeks and didn't have a ton of motivation or energy to work on armor. Once I finally just committed and YOLO'ed the paint, and it mostly went well, it just kept me going on the next thing and the next, and now I'm nearly done. This armor has been an incredible pain in my butt, but I've learned a ton and it has helped keep my mind off things as well. I'll be proud as hell of it when it's done. Almost there. :) 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Edited by TheRascalKing
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First off, glad to hear about the test! Fingers crossed they keep coming back negative!

Excited that you finally got some work done! Helmet looks great! TD too! I think the thigh cuts look reasonable. I felt the same uneasiness, seeing different depth cuts in the movie, so I also opted to drop the inside for movement. Don't be surprised if you suit up and still need to trim down a little more...

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Truly wonderful news Justin, I am so happy for you. Here's to it staying gone.

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